One Sunflower

hot box

on February 5, 2011

I was part of a panel at a workshop today, focused on the alignment work we are doing with story writing for students PreK to grade 3.   As so often happens, the discussion at the workshop turned to the role of play in the early childhood classroom.  While my role on the panel was to share about my experience in journal writing with preschoolers, I can’t stress enough my passion for maintaining quality play time in my classroom.  For me, play is the incubator for relationships, stories, memories and from these comes true meaning and learning.

I’m working to maintain a nice “hot box” for my little chicks:

We play, we talk.

Sometimes we draw, sometimes we write.

But mostly we “rinse, lather, repeat.”  In other words, we re-create, re-tell, re-live.

So why advocate children creating journals of their stories?

I can take pictures of the play and capture it for eternity.  I can take dictation of a child’s words and even help them portray their ideas on paper.  But these words and images won’t have any meaning and power unless they are turned into a meaningful experience to the child.  Sitting with my students and talking about their play or reviewing their drawings and words with them adds this necessary punch.

Yes, this type of work is great to put on bulletin boards, in a child’s portfolio and pass on to kindergarten teachers.   But it is worthless if I haven’t brought the child into this memory work. It is absolutely essential that both the child and I be keepers of the memory.

It is by creating a relationship together and sharing an emotional response to each other that these printed pages attain the power and status to impact learning over time.

And that happens through an alignment of play and page work.


One response to “hot box

  1. Juliann says:

    I am coming to believe that relationship and community are some of the most important things we do in ece. Our investment in learning and transferring our learning grows as we build these relationships and begin to care about those in our community. Strong work!

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